Dyskinesia and Parkinson’s Disease: How to Treat It
Dyskinesia is an involuntary movement disorder that people with Parkinson’s disease (Shaking Palsy) cannot control. They might impact one part of the body, like the hand or head, or the whole body. These movements may cause severe pains that affect daily activities, especially since the movements appear suddenly. And these movement disorders might be adverse effects of Levodopa medications.
Dyskinesia Symptoms in PD Patients
Dyskinesia symptoms vary from one patient to another, wherein they might be mild for some, and severe for others. Generally, dyskinesia symptoms in PD patients include the following:
- Swaying the body.
- Bobbing of the head.
Dyskinesia is not related to the tremors that most Parkinson’s disease patients suffer from, nor is it related to involuntary spasming.
Causes of Dyskinesia in PD Patients
Dyskinesia highly occurs in people who take Levodopa medications, which is a common medication for treating PD. Since Levodopa increases dopamine levels in the brain, and that is what PD patients need. Wherein when having Parkinson’s disease, the cells’ ability to produce dopamine reduces, and levodopa replaces dopamine. However, the dopamine level increases when taking levodopa and decreases when its effect subsides, leading to dyskinesia.
Dyskinesia in PD Patient’s Treatment
Dyskinesia treatment differs from one person to another, and it is determined depending on the following:
- Symptoms’ severity.
- Symptoms’ timing.
- Levodopa effect.
- How long has the patient been diagnosed with PD.
The Treatment Options Include the Following:
- Adjusting Levodopa dosage in order to avoid large fluctuations of dopamine.
- Taking Amantadine extended-release.
- Taking Levodopa in smaller doses.
- Exercising, like walking and swimming, as your doctors recommends.
- Taking Levodopa 30 minutes before meals.
- Using stress management techniques since stress worsens dyskinesia.
- Using dopamine receptors agonists through monotherapy. Only in very early stages before getting dyskinesia.
- Undergoing deep brain stimulations, which is a surgical procedure for severe symptoms. However, one must meet certain standards for the treatment to be helpful.